Officers Row consists of 21 carefully restored homes that were built for leading officers and their families at Vancouver Barracks. The homes were constructed over a period of fifty years from 1849 to 1906.
Officers Row at Fort Vancouver Images
The pictures below are of Officers Row as they are today. Read about these Officer Homes in greater detail with links for further reading.
Click on an image to play a puzzle. These images can also be sent as a puzzle ecard.
Officers Row at Fort Vancouver Video
Video of Officers Row at Fort Vancouver [2:45] a simple slide show I created earlier [1:29] can be viewed on YouTube.
In 1849 the u s army consisting of 76 soldiers arrived in Vancouver and immediately started an intense building project to establish the army presence.
The first building constructed was for the post commander to live in but primarily functioned as the command headquarters. The building was put up rapidly with green logs and planks which resulted in large gaps between the logs as they dried and making for very cold and uncomfortable housing.
In a letter written to his wife in January of 1853, Ulysses D. Grant describes the structures on officers row as:
“…what are called temporary buildings…having been put up in great haste with round and green logs, floors of rough green plank. They are very cold at present but they will be made comfortable next summer.”Ulysses D. Grant
The following year, Lieutenant Colonel B. L. E. Bonneville commented that the post commander’s quarters still required improvement: “the quarters occupied by the comdg. Officer
… should be papered inside in order to render them comfortable in the winter.”Lieutenant Colonel B. L. E. Bonneville
The quarters remained uncomfortable until the early 1860s when the log walls were covered in clapboard and the interior was adequately sealed.
The Grant House we know today is named in honor of Ulysses S. Grant but he was not the commander here during this time so he did not actually live in the building which was later named for him though of course he would have visited it many times.
Officers row in Vancouver Washington consists of 22 historically restored homes built for u s army officers and their families.
In 1849 the u s army arrived in Vancouver with 76 soldiers. Immediately upon arrival an intense building project began to establish their official presence in the area.
The first building constructed that year was for the post commander’s residence and command headquarters. This building would later become known as the Grant House.
The buildings put up during that year were built as quickly as possible and they were forced out of necessity to use green logs and planks, this resulted as the wood dried in large gaps between the logs. Of course this made for very cold and uncomfortable housing during much of the year.
In those early years better housing was a low priority and it would be five years before the commanders post was made more livable.
New homes for the officers families were built slowly over a period of 50 years with the last one being constructed in 1906. A home on Officers Row became a coveted prize for an officer and his family.
One drawback to the life though was the constant flux of moving – not only were soldiers reassigned at a moment’s notice – a major home move could happen simply if a higher ranking officer and his family arrived and were entitled to take over a house even if another family was living there. In some cases a family might have to move with less than a day’s notice.
Still military families have a long tradition of building tight social structures of support and encouragement and here on officers row that was no exception. A week’s social calendar could include a dinner party, a dance, a card party, a singing and music evening, horse riding and simply a walk along officers row with friends to talk and share.
Over a span of 160 years some seventy officers who lived on officers row or were at least billeted here at the barracks would in time go on to become army generals. Three of them had homes named in their honor, the grant house, the Marshall house and the o. H. Howard house.
Today you can take a tour, walk through the hallways and peek into historically restored rooms of the Marshall and Howard houses. You can enjoy a delicious meal at the grant house eatery as well as book a private, corporate or social event.
Army Officers who lived at Vancouver Barracks
Some seventy officers who attained the rank of general were stationed here, including:
- Ulysses S. Grant (April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885)
- Philip H. Sheridan (March 6, 1831 – August 5, 1888)
- George B. McClellan (December 3, 1826 – October 29, 1885)
- George Pickett (January 16, 1825 – July 30, 1875)
- George Crook (September 8, 1828 – March 21, 1890)
- Oliver O. Howard (November 8, 1830 – October 26, 1909)
- Nelson Miles (August 8, 1839 – May 15, 1925)
These beautiful homes of Officers Row have been restored and continue to be maintained by the Vancouver Historic Trust in Vancouver, Washington.